The US Air Force’s (USAF) 625th Strategic Operations Squadron (STOS) has installed the new Virtual Airborne Processing Trainer.

Installation and operation of the virtual trainer was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB), Nebraska.

Following the damage of the unit’s traditional trainer in March last year, the new trainer has been installed to support air launch control system (ALCS) officers.

The ALCS is operated on board Navy E-6 Mercury. Airmen also conducted hands-on training on board the vessel along with using a testing simulator at Vandenberg AFB in California.

USAF 625th STOS intelligence officer and ALCS installation overseer Captain Evans Wright said: “The new virtual trainer will equip ALCS operators and trainees with the highest level of training fidelity to carry out survivable nuclear command and control.

“The new ALCS trainer means that our Airmen can once again accomplish training and become certified on the weapons system and remain proficient locally.”

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Installation of the ALCS virtual trainer was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It has concluded acceptance testing. Currently, the 625th STOS is set to resume initial qualification training.

Annually training eight operators, the unit will begin first classes this week.

Composed of bulky equipment, the legacy trainer was a mock-up of the battle staff compartment.

The new ALCS trainer is 100% virtual and supports enhanced mobility and testing capacity.

Wright added: “The virtual trainer is much more agile than the legacy system, allowing us to easily move it anywhere with the correct dimensions and proper power source.

“The ALCS trainer also has the added benefit of allowing us to stress the weapon system to a greater extent while quickly turning it around to conduct more tests.”